Tag Archives: college football

Not a Soccer Blog…Top Eight From The News

Thanks to the absence of the venerable Nick and Austin, I have heard rumors of this blog turning into a “soccer blog.” While I have no problem with that, I thought I would appease all my eager fans with a mixed bag of non-soccer news.

Here are the top eight stories today and my not-so-humble opinion on them.

1. Brett Favre and the J-E-T-S? Who saw this one coming? I don’t think Favre will pull a Namath and win a Super Bowl, but I do think he takes a team that won just four games last season to the playoffs.

I also would like to see the Jets release Chad Pennington already so that the Bears can add him to their stable of unreliable, mediocre quarterbacks. One positive about Pennington: he is much better than Grossman and Orton.

The Patriots are safe on the top of this division for at least another year.

2. In honor of Landy I will delve into the Packers. This was a huge mistake. Plain and simple. ESPN’s Rachel Nicols asked the question that I would like to see answered: “Are the Packers better off with Aaron Rodgers than Brett Favre?”

How can they answer that with a yes? They have never seen Rodger play for a whole season, and while I am sure he will be decent, Favre is a Hall of Famer. There is no comparison. This is a win now league and the Packers just shot themselves in the foot.

3. Because we are The Looper I have to mention something having to do with golf don’t I? How ironic would it be if Sergio Garcia won the PGA Championship this weekend? The man that was expected to challenge Tiger Woods wins his first major with Tiger sidelined with an injury.

But, to tell you the truth, I hope he wins it. I think without the pressure of having to beat Tiger, Garcia will be loose and this could mark a significant turning point in his career if he is able to pull it out. He is just one shot off the lead after most of the field finished the first day and he is one of the top five most talented golfers there so why not?

4. Have you lost count of how many players Georgia has suspended this season already, because I have. They are named the preseason number 1 and immediately their players begin to act like they just won the National Championship.

Let me be the first to say that I don’t think Georgia will finish in the top 20. They obviously don’t have the maturity or leadership, their coach, Mark Richt, doesn’t have the experience to withstand the pressure and while their star running back, Knowshon Moreno, will be a front runner for the Heisman, he is not prepared to lead this team through the heart of an impossible SEC.

5. Can’t you see it now. Kids all over L.A. with dreadlock wigs and wearing number 99 Dodgers jerseys on Halloween as the Dodgers battle deep into the playoffs behind midseason acquisition, Manny Ramirez. So far Manny has hit four home runs in just six games and has energized this team that was struggling mightily to score runs.

I still can’t believe the Red Sox made the trade. I know Jason Bay is good—I have seen him 16 times a year when the Cubs play the Bucs—but he is not Manny. This is a team that is fighting for their playoff life and they traded away their best bat.

If they are able to overcome the Rays and withstand a run from the Yankees and make the playoffs it won’t matter but I don’t know if they will be able to without Manny in their lineup.

6. Sticking with baseball, how can I not mention the Cubs. Just a week and half ago people said they were going to fail as they fell into a tie with Milwaukee. But just five days later the Cubs were the proud owners of a four game sweep of the Brewers and a five game lead in the division.

Since that series the Cubs have continued to roll winning nine of their last 11 games. Meanwhile the Brewers have been winning but have also been fighting—Parra and Fielder’s little shoving match in the dugout the other night—and seem frustrated after not taking advantage of a great opportunity with Chicago in town for four games.

In no way am I writing off the Brewers but I do think they need to pull themselves together the rest of August in order to avoid a catastrophic collapse like we witnessed last season.

7. Why is there football on tonight? It is not that I am not ready for football—it reminds me that fall is coming and that is always a good thing—but it seems so early for people to be hitting each other.

Am I going to watch any of the games tonight? No. Maybe I will turn on the Bears game for five minutes to see Orton beat up by the Chief’s fourth string defense, but otherwise these games are absurd.

These EXHIBITION games are more for the coaches than anyone else and all the hoopla that comes from these games is completely ridiculous. The football writers need to wait until at least Labor Day, please.

8. I guess I will finish up with the Olympics, which begin tomorrow. I am excited to see the summer games. Great athletes competing in the largest competition in the world is always good time.

Highlights for me have to be whether the USA basketball team can actually win gold, Michael Phelps (why did he grow that disgusting ‘stache, by the way?) run for eight golds and how many people asphyxiate do to the poor air quality.

Should be a good time had by all.

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed and hope that it inspired Nicks and Austins everywhere to come out and write once in a while.

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The Looper’s Heisman picks … if we only had a vote

[Editor’s note: Since The Looper staff members were not participants in this year’s Heisman voting, anonymity is not an issue and here are their picks, not limited to the finalists as picked by the Heisman voters. For the record, the four finalists for the award, which will be presented tonight to the nation’s best college football player, are: Darren McFadden, Tim Tebow, Colt Brennan and Chase Daniel.]

WINDY CITY WORD … Tebow trumps all

  1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
  2. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
  3. Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii
  4. Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri

People have been really high on Brennan the past two weeks, but as cliche as this sounds, he is a product of a system. I am not saying he will not be a good QB in the NFL; on the contrary, i think he will be great, in the right system. When Brennan’s backups came in they combined to go 87 for 133 for 1,228 yards. It’s all about the system.

Now just look at Tebow’s season. He threw for 3,132 yards and 29 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions. These are great numbers for a quarterback but what makes Tebow the best player in college football are his feet. The sophomore ran for 838 yards and 22 touchdowns.

A quarterback now holds the season mark for must rushing touchdowns in the SEC. That should make running backs everywhere sick and it is what separates Tebow.

I have been hearing talk about the disgrace of giving the Heisman to an underclassman. But college football has never seen an underclassman like Tebow and should throw out whatever qualms they may have about him because the simple fact is that he was far and away the best player in college football this season.

THE LOOPER … sadly, no Mike Hart

  1. Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii
  2. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
  3. Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon
  4. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

My pre-season favorite just couldn’t pull it out. After helping to right the Michigan ship, Mike Hart was on track to be a Heisman finalist, but nagging injuries and back-to-back season-ending losses took my boy out of the race for good.

With Hart out of the realm of possibility and a season-ending injury for Dennis Dixon, the other most impressive player this year –– his performance against Michigan literally blew my mind –– Colt Brennan should be the Heisman winner, in my book. Brennan has thrown for 4,174 yards and 38 touchdowns (completing 71.4% of his passes), and has also scored 8 touchdowns on the ground … and that’s with very limited time in one game and missing another entirely.

System shmishtem. I’m sorry. Every school has a system that a quarterback needs to learn in order to succeed. The better the quarterback fits the system, the better the quarterback could and should perform. Tim Tebow, Colt Brennan, Dennis Dixon and Chase Daniel are all system quarterbacks. Sorry.

Brennan’s performance this season has been nothing short of PERFECT. With the weight of his team on his right arm, he led them to an undefeated season while racking up incredible stats along the way. He did his job in his “system” and produced more wins than anyone in college football –– more than Tebow, McFadden, Dixon or Daniel. If we want to debate Tebow vs. Brennan’s strength of schedule, you can find my theory on that in “On the Brazenly Crazy Sport…” article below.

It takes a lot to merit winning a Heisman when your team is losing games. No one who played out the season wowed me enough to place them above the best throwing quarterback in college football, and the only player to lead his team through the season undefeated.

On the Brazenly Crazy Sport (BCS) … Life without the Rose Bowl?

Opinions about how major college football runs its postseason have always been about a dime a dozen and maybe, this season, are –– like the dollar –– worth less and less.

It’s been accepted as fact, by and large, that the 2007 college football season could be the craziest on record. The lack of reason evident in outcome of most games this season has done nothing to help a traditionally senseless sport.

See, the facts of life in college football make the least sense of those in any collegiate sport:

  • There are only 12 games in a regular season. Losses early in the season carry far less weight than those in the year’s closing weeks –– every game is more important than the previous one.
  • Some conferences have championship games, some do not; some teams are not affiliated with a conference.
  • There is no traditional playoff system or Final Four setup to determine the champion like nearly every other team sport. This last game of the year for most teams can take place anywhere from three to six weeks after the end of the regular season.

  • The two teams that get to play in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national championship game are decided upon by a complex computer formula that incorporates limited human voting. This year, the only remaining undefeated team, Hawaii, is not one of these two teams. Rather, two-loss LSU of the SEC got the nod to play one-loss Ohio State of the Big Ten.
  • At the individual level, the Heisman trophy, which is awarded to college football’s best player, is presented before teams play their final game.
  • The current system is so steeped in tradition and so lucrative for the schools, especially those in the six biggest conferences that dominate the BCS, it is a nearly impassable barrier to change. A single BCS game earns the schools and conferences millions and millions of dollars just for participating.

And, it seems everyone has an opinion about these issues.

Here are a few ideas that I think are worth considering, especially after this year:

  • Eliminating conference championship games or making them mandatory for every conference. This would help to avoid the irrational situation that developed within the BCS’s top 10 during the last two ranking periods. We would not be arguing about teams who didn’t play in a game that week vs. teams that did. We would not hear about teams backing into BCS bowls. We would not be reasoning among teams that played 12 games and teams that played an additional 13th game. The playing field would be leveled, to a degree.
  • Eliminate the strength of schedule factor in the BCS formula. As we’ve seen this year, anyone can lose to anyone on any given day. Michigan can lose to I-AA Appalachian State in its first game of the year, #2 West Virginia choke against a four-touchdown underdog like Pittsburgh, and, oh yeah, in the final two weeks of the regular season two different #1 and #2 teams lost. If anything, this increasing level of chaos merits a reappraisal of the talent level across the board and a more apt respect for teams that were once thought to be “mid-major.” Coming from a traditional non-power conference should be a non-factor, by now they have proved themselves worthy. If we don’t think teams “fear the WAC” then go figure out why Michigan took now-undefeated Hawaii off their schedule and replaced them with I-AA Appalachian State –– worked wonders for their record.
  • Turn each BCS bowl game into a quarterfinal game. Four play-down games with title sponsors and traditional names. The two semifinals can have a title sponsor, and the ultimate national championship game can have its own too. This system will maintain tradition, create a more fair championship test (rather than a computer formula for a single game), increase revenue (which can be shared among the 8 competitors in the BCS playoff) and make for a gripping three weeks of football.
  • DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT eliminate the bowl system entirely. The simple question you have to ask yourself –– and “fairness” flies out the window for this –– what would college football be without the Rose Bowl? The “Grandaddy of them all” is as much a staple of Americana as it is a marker of college football’s endearing lack of sensibility.

Those are some ideas. I think it’s something worth looking into. What’s your take? I know you have one.

Tears of joy

This video just came across my radar and I started cackling like a schoolgirl. Putting aside the fact that Sam McGuffie will be wearing Michigan maize and blue for the next few years, I’m just excited to see what this kid can do next. This might be the most incredible highlight video I’ve ever seen –– and that includes the Reggie Bush high school highlight reel.

Think of it as an early holiday gift, from The Looper to you. Enjoy!

Um, so, yeah? I take it you noticed the six or seven runs in which he decided to hurdle potential tacklers. Wow.

The curse of #2

It has happened yet again.

Tonight Oregon became the fifth #2 ranked college football team to fall this season. The Ducks join fellow Pac-10 teams USC and California in the group of teams that have fallen prey to the curse of the troubled twos (was that forcing it?). South Florida and Boston College were the other number twos that fell earlier this year.

Oregon suffered just their second loss of the season in the desert at the hands of Arizona and coach Mike Stoops. Mike’s brother Bob, #3 Oklahoma’s coach, better get his little bro some amazing Christmas gift this year because he might have just stumbled onto a BSC Championship bid.

That is if the Sooners can avoid the curse.